Egypt's foreign minister sharply criticized US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after she raised concerns over planned constitutional amendments, saying hours before her arrival in the country Saturday that Egypt would not accept interference even from "friends."
Her visit coincides with a political storm in Egypt over the changes to the constitution, which the Egyptian opposition has denounced as a blow to democracy.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit denounced Rice's comments over the amendments, saying, "It is unimaginable that someone would speak about and judge an Egyptian internal political process before it even starts."
"Even if Egypt and the United States have a friendly, strategic relationship, Egypt can't accept interference in its affairs from any of its friends," he said.
"This is all about the Egyptian people who will determine their vision, and what they want on the ground, which will take place in the referendum on Monday," Aboul Gheit said.